Greek-hero movie "Hercules" may not out-muscle superhuman "Lucy" in the box office this weekend.
“Lucy" is expected to gross $45 million, higher than the $30-million-to-$35-million projection for
"Dawn of the Planet of the Apes," the 3-D sequel to the 2011 blockbuster
“Lucy,” distributed by Universal Pictures, follows a party girl turned unwitting drug mule (Scarlett Johansson) who ingests a powerful chemical that transforms her into a superhuman with enhanced abilities.
The R-rated film, which costars Morgan Freeman, generated early buzz. At WonderCon, held in Anaheim in April, the film's writer and director Luc Besson revved up the crowd when he screened two sequences of "Lucy."
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film received 63% on the "tomatometer" as of Thursday. Fandango, which surveys moviegoers, said in a news release that the female-powered thriller leads the weekend's ticket sales on the website.
"We believe, based on tracking, that audiences are favorable to what they are seeing," Nikki Rocco, Universal's president of domestic distribution, told the Los Angeles Times. "We have been selling them through trailers and TV spots. So far, the tracking looks pretty strong across most age groups and genders."
Rocco said she thinks the film will be a success.
"We are hoping this weekend's business will turn around the general malaise that's existed this summer in the box office," she said.
"Hercules," directed by Brett Ratner and co-produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures and Paramount Pictures, follows the ancient man and myth (played by
"Our movie is for everyone,”
With about a $100-million budget, the studios are expecting 'Hercules' to bring in about $20 million in its release, which is more conservative than analysts' projections. On Rotten Tomatoes, as of Thursday, the film had 67% on the "tomatometer."
This will be the second Hercules movie to hit the big screen this year: Actor Kellen Lutz played the demigod in "The Legend of Hercules." That film, which cost about $70 million to make, was produced by Millennium Films and distributed by Lionsgate's Summit Entertainment and opened in January. It grossed just $8.6 million in its first three days.
"And So It Goes," directed by Rob Reiner, follows Oren Little (
On Rotten Tomatoes, it held a low 17% "freshness" rating on Thursday. Clarius Entertainment, the film's distributor, hopes the film opens to upward of $5 million this weekend. It was produced by Reiner, Alan Greisman and Mark Damon.
Comedian Gabriel Iglesias' film "The Fluffy Movie," distrbuted by Open Road Films, is set to open in limited release.
Staff writer Haley Goldberg contributed to this article.